Judd Trump fired in five century breaks en route to a 6-3 victory over David Gilbert to reach the Semi-Finals of the Champion of Champions in Milton Keynes.
Trump dropped just three frames in his two victories at the Marshall Arena on Tuesday as he prevailed in Group Two of the prestigious invitational.
The world number one, who finished runner-up in 2019, began the day with a 4-0 whitewash of Stuart Bingham despite being below his best in the early stages.
Trump took a scrappy opening two frames before finding his range to produce breaks of 119 and 63 in completing the rout.
He then produced his brilliant best in the evening’s Group Final against Gilbert, setting the tone for a thunderous display of scoring by taking the first frame with a break of 103.
Former ranking event finalist Gilbert levelled before adding a break of 52 in frame three to move 2-1 in front.
Trump, though, responded with successive breaks of 117 and 112 either side of the interval to regain the lead before adding frame six to make it 4-2.
A break of 71 in frame seven kept Gilbert in touch, but Trump turned on the style again with a break of 107 before completing the victory with a magnificent 138 clearance.
“I played some good stuff,” said Trump. “It’s obviously not often you make that many century breaks in a game so I’m proud I kept pushing to try to make them.
“In the end it was quite comfortable but it was looking a bit tricky in the middle of the game.
“Dave put me under a lot of pressure but I managed to play my best towards the end.
“Sometimes you can feel it in yourself that you’re going to pot everything, today wasn’t quite like that but the longer the game went on that kind of came to me.
“You start thinking about making centuries rather than just making frame-winning breaks, you’re just full of confidence and feel a sense of invincibility.”
Gilbert had clinched his spot in the group final with a 4-2 victory over 2017 champion Shaun Murphy.
The Tamworth cueist coasted into a 3-0 lead with breaks of 107, 83 and 67 before Murphy hit back with consecutive breaks of 78 and 77 despite his unorthodox break-off technique which saw him twice miss the pack entirely.
Gilbert, though, averted the need for a decider by killing off the contest with a clinical break of 88.
Trump will now go through to Saturday’s second overall Semi-Final, where he will face the winner of Group Three – comprising of Ronnie O’Sullivan, Michael Holt, Mark Allen and Scott Donaldson.
Champion of Champions 2020 Results
Tuesday November 3
Judd Trump 4-0 Stuart Bingham
Shaun Murphy 2-4 David Gilbert
Judd Trump 6-3 David Gilbert